21 Games To Improve A Dog’s Obedience
Owning a well-trained and obedient dog is not only beneficial, but it can also be a lifesaver in emergency situations. Whether you are a prepper or just want your furry friend to be well-behaved, it’s important to engage in regular training sessions to strengthen their obedience skills. But training shouldn’t always feel like a chore! One of the best ways to make training enjoyable for both you and your dog is by incorporating games into your routine.
1. The Name Game
Teach your dog to respond to their name by saying it and rewarding them with praise or treats every time they look at you. This game not only reinforces their name but also helps improve their focus and attention.
2. Hide and Seek
Hide your dog’s favorite toy or treat and encourage them to search for it. This game enhances their scenting abilities and teaches them to follow your commands to find hidden objects.
3. Tug of War
Playing tug of war with your dog can be a fun and interactive way to strengthen their impulse control and obedience. Just make sure to establish clear rules, like releasing the toy when asked, to prevent any aggression or dominance issues.
4. Obstacle Course
Create an indoor or outdoor obstacle course using household items like chairs, tunnels, and hula hoops. Guide your dog through the course using verbal commands and rewards. This game helps them improve their agility, coordination, and listening skills.
5. Find It
Hide treats or toys throughout the house or yard and let your dog use their scenting abilities to find them. This game engages their natural instincts and encourages problem-solving skills.
6. Recall Races
Find an open space and have multiple family members or friends stand in different spots. Take turns calling your dog’s name and rewarding them when they come running. This game helps reinforce their recall skills and teaches them to respond to multiple people.
7. Follow the Leader
Take your dog on a short leash walk and periodically change direction or speed. Encourage them to follow your lead closely without pulling or lagging behind. This game enhances their obedience and leash manners.
8. Balance Exercises
Train your dog to stand on different surfaces like cushions, wobbly boards, or balance disks. This game helps improve their body awareness, coordination, and stability.
9. Fetch and Drop
Teach your dog to fetch objects and drop them into a designated container. This game enhances their retrieving skills and reinforces their understanding of “drop it” or “leave it” commands.
10. Simon Says
Adapt the classic game of Simon Says for your dog by giving them commands like sit, stay, lie down, or shake. Only reward them when they perform the command with the “Simon says” prefix. This game strengthens their obedience and responsiveness to different commands.
11. Puzzle Toys
Invest in puzzle toys or treat-dispensing toys that require your dog to figure out how to access the treats. This game mentally stimulates your dog and keeps them engaged for longer periods of time.
12. Musical Mats
Place different mats or towels on the floor and teach your dog to go to a specific mat when you play music. Reward them when they reach the correct mat. This game strengthens their listening skills and teaches them to differentiate between cues.
Create a safe space for your dog to play and designate yourself as the “tagger.” Chase your dog around, gradually increase the speed, and capture them with gentle touches. This game helps reinforce their recall skills and improves their overall fitness.
14. Counting Trick
Teach your dog to count by associating specific actions with numbers. For example, you can place treats on the ground and ask them to “take one, take two, etc.” This game improves their understanding of numbers and enhances their cognitive abilities.
15. High Five
Train your dog to give you a high five with their paw. Use treats and praise to reward them when they successfully complete the action. This game strengthens their coordination and bonding with you.
16. Shell Game
Place treats under different cups or containers and shuffle them around. Encourage your dog to find the treat by indicating the correct cup. This game sharpens their problem-solving skills and mental acuity.
17. Go to Your Bed
Teach your dog to go to a specific bed or spot on command. This game helps reinforce their impulse control and teaches them to stay in one place until released.
18. Soccer or Basketball
Encourage your dog to paw or nose a soccer ball or basketball. Reward them when they interact with the ball and guide it towards the goal or hoop. This game improves their coordination and provides physical exercise.
Blow bubbles for your dog to chase and pop. This game enhances their visual tracking skills and provides a fun and interactive way to engage with them.
Teach your dog to shake hands with you using their paw. This can be an adorable and entertaining trick that strengthens their coordination and bonding with you.
21. The Freeze Game
During a play session, randomly give the command “freeze.” When your dog stops moving, reward them with praise or treats. This game enhances their impulse control and reinforces their ability to listen to commands quickly.
Training your dog to be obedient doesn’t have to be a boring and repetitive task. By incorporating these games into your routine, you can make training sessions more enjoyable and effective. Remember to be patient and consistent with your training efforts, and always reward your dog for their successes. A well-trained and obedient dog is not only a joy to have around, but also a valuable asset in emergency situations.
My 2 Cents
Training your dog doesn’t have to feel like a chore. By turning obedience training into games, you can make it a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your furry friend. Remember to always use positive reinforcement and patience during training sessions. And don’t forget to practice regularly to maintain and reinforce the skills learned!